Two years ago this week, my husband and I visited a Milan, MI bar called Fenders to “invade” its trivia scene. I was reminded of this game a couple of nights ago when my husband I and visited this bar again – after we watched a fireworks display in Milan, which is one of the events piggybacked with the annual Milan Fair. Once we got past the two large bouncers posted out front (one of whom was wearing a T-shirt for Powell’s, an Ypsilanti bar owned by the same owner), we managed to find a seat quickly – but the bar filled up fast! There was a rather loudmouthed bald guy “holding court” at the bar, and his actions were NOT going unnoticed by the bouncers out front! All we did was have a pitcher of Labatt and leave. If we didn’t have a nearly 25 minute drive home, we might have stuck around for more (can’t beat those prices with a big stick – $7 Labatt pitchers)!
One of the “quirks” of the place is that the men’s bathroom doesn’t have any signs indicating that it’s the men’s bathroom. Which is only a problem if you’re not a regular of this place! It’s far worse to have a men’s restroom without a door on the stall (which was the case at Powell’s, last time my husband checked)! There is also a dead deer on display above the pool table. I did not want to appear “touristy” in this bar, so I didn’t take a pic of that!
There is a certain “stranger in a strange land” mentality when you’re merely a visitor to a bar in which you’re not a regular. Don’t make waves, keep to yourself unless invited to engage, don’t ask for any “fancy” booze, yada yada. Just ask David Tyll and Brian Ognjan – two men from metro Detroit who went on a hunting trip in Michigan’s “Up North” in 1985 – and were never seen again. The last time they were seen alive, they were in (and around) a Mio bar (and by some reports- they were both very, very drunk). Though I have read a book about this case (Darker than Night by Tom Henderson), I can only speculate about the chain of events that might have occurred leading up to the murders. I strongly believe that the two Detroit men were probably “mouthing off” and went afoul of the “locals.” This is NOT to say that I think they “deserved” to be beaten to death in the snow – and fed to pigs (which is what several witnesses claim happened), but there is something to be said for “don’t start nothin’ – won’t be nothin’.”
If you want a “Reader’s Digest” version of this story, click here.
Which brings me back to Fenders… my husband and I had no intention of doing anything but minding our own business in this bar- and just enjoying some cheap beer when we stopped in on that busy Friday night!